LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)- Malawi’s young people were this week challenged to take a leading role in various development projects, if they are to make relevant advancement in their lives.

This is the call that was made during the International Youth Day that falls on August 12 every year. This is a United Nations (UN) commemoration, which the global body set aside to celebrate the critical role young people play in the society.

In 2017, the day is being commemorated under the theme, “Youth building peace”, with also a call for governments to invest in young people especially the “Rural Youth, girls, and young people with disability.”

This year’s celebrations comes amid high levels of unemployment despite various innovations Government and other stakeholders, are championing, particularly on entrepreneurship.

Most youth in the country crave for colorful or office jobs; however the country does not have the ability to absorb them into the labor system.

In an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post, Youth Consultative Forum (YCF) Chairperson Edward Chileka-Banda, whose organization leads the country’s youth movement, said there is the critical need for invoking deep reflections among the young people themselves and other stakeholders (both institutions and decision makers). In other words, youth need to have a changed mindset.

Also Executive Director of Eye for Development (EY), Chileka-Banda, urged youth to take the day as a reminder of their relevance in the society, instead of always complaining and blaming others for the ills of the country.

He said the day’s commemoration must alert young people that they are no longer beggars of their future, but that they get supported to generate solutions.

The youth activist Banda added that young people no longer need the tokenism and handouts approach in addressing youth issues and he reminded senior generations of the need to realize that young people are a today’s resources and tools and not tomorrow’s.

Banda therefore urged senior generations to deliberately mentor the millennial (youth) and said there is no future without the youth and no progress today without the young people.

“We must understand that the problems that our communities are facing are our problems and that our problems are a blockade to society. While recognizing the great efforts stakeholders in youth development are making, deep reflections and a search for new solutions must inspire the next steps.

“We must view ourselves as the solutions rather than thinking that someone must always bail us out. As young people, we must “TAKE THE LEAD” in building a peaceful, inclusive, fair, just, disease-free, corrupt-free and responsible society. The duty to make our society a better place for everyone, is really ours and not for those,” said Chileka Banda.

Currently, Malawi Government in partnership with TEVETA, intensified entrepreneurship ventures through establishment of community colleges to bridge the gap of unemployment.

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